The Dark Hours Art When I was a kid I asked my Mother why the sky was always dark during the night. In turn, she explained to me how the pressure in the hemisphere either increased or decreased depending on the Earth relation to it's position to the Sun's orbit, thus directly affecting the hue in the atmosphere and the environment. Huh? What's that you say? You don't quite understand my Mother's response? Well, if I was you, I'd get my hands on a teacher then. You know. A teacher like my mate Kyle, who co-created...

The Dark Hours

1) What are your own origins, Kyle? Plus what path did you take in life before you got to where you are today?   I was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Loved comics and drawing as a kid. I moved to Southern California in high school to live with my Dad and caught a break in college with a job at Image Comics working as an inker. 

My early success kind of went to my head. I dropped out of college and bounced around a bit after the 90’s comic renaissance bubble burst. A blink and you'd have missed my tour of duty on 'Main Street' at Disneyland. For the next few years thereafter, I worked as a conceptual artist in the aftermarket automotive wheel industry, before finally getting it together and finishing college while getting some teaching credentials.

Since then I've been a teacher by day, a husband and father by night, and in the early hours I work hard at making time to create art.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2) How did 'The Dark Hours' comic come about? It's 'secret origin' as it were.   The Dark Hours began as a screenplay written by my co-creator, Brian Barsuglia, about ten years ago. He dusted it off and shared it with me when we started talking about doing a project together. The original story was a sweeping western horror with lots of complex characters, changing scenery, and intense action sequences.

I knew there was no way my goldfish-like attention span would allow me to complete something that expansive, so Brian and I went to work stripping the story down to it's essence making it more sudden, intimate, and scary.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   It's a horror tale set against the backdrop of the old west, but I'd like to think it's more than just cowboys versus vampires. We gave great thought to the liberties we wanted to take with existing mythologies. After all, sexy Victorian vamps don't fit the time and location of our story and current trends such as allowing vampires to wander around in the daylight seem sacrilegious and cheap.

Beyond the horror and tension, beneath the artwork, and below the gratuitous violence and gore, I feel our readers will find a gripping story with compelling characters and themes that address real human fears.

The Dark Hours Art4) How did you meet up with your co-writer on this project, B. Luciano Barsuglia? And how did this collaboration work in practice?   Brian and I are teachers at the same high school. He teaches English while I teach Art. We met in the teacher's lounge five years ago during my first year, as we both had the same prep period. It didn't take long for us to realize we shared the same tastes and interests in entertainment.

Two or so years ago we starting talking about turning his script into a graphic novel, and in August of last year, we really began working earnestly on it. Rather than one 90 page book, we decided to break it down into three chapters.

Throughout the process Brian has been a great collaborator. He's been open to suggestion and feedback on his original story and in turn has provided insight into the characters he created which has helped craft the look and style of the comic. It has and continues to be a fun and exciting partnership.

5) What theme tune taken from pop culture would you assign to your comic?   Hmm. Let's see. It would have to be something dark and soulful without being depressing. Lyrically driven but with a catchy chorus. Plus something that hasn't overtaken the radio waves but a song you can sing along with. 

Dancing Queen by ABBA?

6) If you could get a celebrity - either living or dead - to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Jesus? Too preachy, you say? How about Jeff Bridges? The Dude promoting our book would be rad. Plus he's not foreign to the book's genre. He's done westerns like Wild Bill and True Grit, as well as horror movies like The Vanishing and Tron 2.0. He'd be perfect and a blast to hang out with, definitely on my Celebrity Friends List.

Jeff Bridges Caracature
7) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   That I'm not as clever as I think I am. Although I'm pretty sure I knew that before I began working on The Dark Hours. Ha! I work way too slow, obsess over the wrong details, and I'm easily drawn to distraction. Wow. This is becoming somewhat therapeutic. We may have had some sort of breakthrough here.

8) What were the main obstacles you had to contend with?   It's a right pain in the ass trying to get the word out about the finished comic and getting it into the hands of potential readers.

9) If 'The Dark Hours' had a motto, what do you think it would be?   "Night approaches, and with it comes the Dark Hours".

So there you have it, folks. My mate Kyle and his great comic book, The Dark Hours, in a nutshell. When you have the time please click on the links provided or access the Dark Hours Website. Trust me. You'd have a right blast if you did.

THE DARK HOURS - THE RIGHT TIME TO READ THE DARK HOURS - THE RIGHT TIME TO READ Reviewed by David Andrews on August 16, 2013 Rating: 5
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